Family farm grows blackberries for consumption and extra income – Manila Newsletter
Strawberries aren’t the only popular type of berry available in the Philippines. Blackberries, known locally as moras, are also grown in abundance across the country. Traditionally, these trees are grown in Asia and North America for their leaves, which are the only things cultivated silkworms eat.
But as the trees bear colorful berries of black, white and red color, farmers have also started growing blackberries for their fruit, which can be eaten raw, cooked or made into other products such as wine, juice. of fruit, tea or jam.
The Merlita family farm is a farm that grows blackberries for this particular reason.
The property where the farm now stands was supposed to be the site of a refuge for abandoned children and the elderly. But due to insufficient funds, the Barbudo family decided to move the purpose of the property to a place where they can grow food.
(Learn more about Merlita’s family farm here)
Currently, the Merlita family farm is planted with different fruit trees such as guyabano, blackberries, pomelo, papaya and blackberries.
According to Edmer Barbudo, administrator of the Foundation of the Technological and Theological College of the Beatitudes in Cavite, blackberries are the most prolific crop on their farm. Recently, they harvested a large amount of berries from their tree, which still has not finished fruiting.
Barbudo explained that the fruits of the next harvest will be used to make jam and wine, which will help increase the farm’s income.
When growing blackberries, especially for beginners, Barbudo says the first thing to remember is not to stress yourself out. Mulberries are known to be hardy and require little maintenance, making them ideal for farmers or novice gardeners. They thrive in hot, sunny places and perform otherwise in very cold areas.
“Nature will always find a way to grow and flourish. You don’t have to overcomplicate the process and mulberries are very hardy, ”he said.
Another thing to consider before the actual planting process is the space available. Mulberries can be grown as shrubs or trees, and some varieties of the latter can reach heights of 10 meters or more, but some grow to half the size.
For a family like Barbudo’s, a single mulberry tree is enough to feed them. But for more fruit, planting more trees is ideal.
To grow blackberries from cuttings like Barbudo did, it is best to put them in a pot. After two to three months, move it to a place where there is loose, well-drained soil and plenty of sun.
Mulberries should also be watered in dry weather to prevent their fruit from falling off before it is ripe and tastes dry.
In addition to these requirements for their growth, mulberry trees also need to be pruned when ripe. Blackberries grown from seed can take around ten years to bear fruit, but growing from cuttings or seedlings can take around two to three years.
“An adult mulberry tree needs to be pruned when it is dormant. This will allow the trees to start producing fruit again, ”said Barbudo.
He added that blackberries tend to drop their leaves, especially in the summer. But he says there is no need to panic since this is normal and its leaves will grow back during the rainy season.
Health Benefits of Blackberries
Besides being a good ingredient to use in making jam, wine, and other related products due to their sweet and tangy taste, blackberries also offer several health benefits when eaten.
They are a good source of iron and vitamin C, as well as decent amounts of potassium as well as vitamins E and K. It has also been linked to lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels and cancer risk due to their fiber and carbohydrate content.
Blackberries are among the many fruits that grow in abundance in the Philippines. But if grown and operated properly, just like the Barbudo family from the Merlita family farm did, it can be a good source of healthy food and additional income.
For more information visit Merlita’s family farm on Facebook.
Photos of Merlita’s family farm on Facebook
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